, commonly known as TA
to its adherents, is an integrative approach to the theory of psychology
. Integrative because it has elements of psychoanalytic
, humanist and cognitive
approaches. It was developed by Canadian-born US psychiatrist Eric Berne
during the late 1950s.
According to the International Transactional Analysis Association
TA 'is a theory of personality and a systematic psychotherapy
for personal growth and personal change'.
- As a theory of personality, TA describes how people are structured psychologically. It uses what is perhaps its best known model, the ego-state (Parent-Adult-Child) model to do this. This same model helps explain how people function and express their personality in their behavior
- It is a theory of communication that can be extended to the analysis of systems and organisations.
- It offers a theory for child development, by explaining how our adult patterns of life originated in childhood. This explanation is based on the idea of a "Life (or Childhood) Script": the assumption that we continue to re-play childhood strategies, even when this results in pain or defeat. Thus it claims to offer a theory of psychopathology.
- In practical application, it can be used in the diagnosis and treatment of many types of psychological disorders, and provides a method of therapy for individuals, couples, families and groups.
- Outside the therapeutic field, it has been used in education, to help teachers remain in clear communication at an appropriate level, in counselling and consultancy, in management and communications training, and by other bodies.